Announcing Minnesota’s pursuit of college football’s biggest game, Gov. Mark Dayton said Tuesday that landing it would put the “frosting on the cake” for Minnesota’s still-incomplete stadium going up in downtown Minneapolis.
The $1 billion Vikings stadium due to open next summer has already been chosen for the Super Bowl in 2018 and college basketball’s Final Four in 2019. A possible Wrestlemania has also been mentioned.
With Gophers football coach Jerry Kill, civic boosters and others at his side, Dayton helped launch the bid for the 2020 College Football Playoff National Championship. The cities Minneapolis is competing against won’t be fully apparent until bidding closes later this month, but a decision on the game’s venue is expected in October.
To date, the January game has been awarded only to warm-weather cities. The inaugural game was in Texas this year and will be played in Arizona and Florida the next two years.
Besides the game, cities that host the championship have a weekend of events such as rock concerts, community volunteering and a fan zone with games and memorabilia.
“By 2020, the national championship football game and the weekend prior will be as big as the Final Four,” said Minnesota business executive Scot Housh, the co-chairman of the committee pushing for the game.
Housh said private fundraising is being done to raise the $8 million to $12 million needed to pull off the bid, equivalent to what it takes to hold the Final Four.
Organizers said they’ll approach lawmakers later about tax exemptions for game and event tickets, but they won’t make the request this year.
Minnesota bidding for NCAA championship game
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